3 years ago

Structural and Chemical Biology of Terpenoid Cyclases

Structural and Chemical Biology of Terpenoid Cyclases
David W. Christianson
The year 2017 marks the twentieth anniversary of terpenoid cyclase structural biology: a trio of terpenoid cyclase structures reported together in 1997 were the first to set the foundation for understanding the enzymes largely responsible for the exquisite chemodiversity of more than 80000 terpenoid natural products. Terpenoid cyclases catalyze the most complex chemical reactions in biology, in that more than half of the substrate carbon atoms undergo changes in bonding and hybridization during a single enzyme-catalyzed cyclization reaction. The past two decades have witnessed structural, functional, and computational studies illuminating the modes of substrate activation that initiate the cyclization cascade, the management and manipulation of high-energy carbocation intermediates that propagate the cyclization cascade, and the chemical strategies that terminate the cyclization cascade. The role of the terpenoid cyclase as a template for catalysis is paramount to its function, and protein engineering can be used to reprogram the cyclization cascade to generate alternative and commercially important products. Here, I review key advances in terpenoid cyclase structural and chemical biology, focusing mainly on terpenoid cyclases and related prenyltransferases for which X-ray crystal structures have informed and advanced our understanding of enzyme structure and function.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrev.7b00287

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.7b00287

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